‘M*A*S*H’: How Did ‘Trapper John’ Actor Wayne Rogers Die?

by Joe Rutland
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Longtime “M*A*S*H” fans still recall actor Wayne Rogers, who played “Trapper John” McIntyre. How did Rogers die?

He died on Dec. 31, 2015, of complications from pneumonia in Los Angeles, according to CNN.

Rogers, who was 82, played on “M *A*S*H” for three seasons opposite Alan Alda. Alda was a part of the CBS sitcom for its entire run and played Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce.

The banter between him and Alda was usually targeted for Frank Burns, played by Larry Linville, and Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan, played by Loretta Swit.

‘M*A*S*H’ Star Left Show After Three Seasons Over Contract Dispute

But after three seasons, Rogers got into a contract dispute with show producers and left. Mike Farrell joined “M*A*S*H” and took Rogers’ spot in the tent as B.J. Hunnicutt.

Upon hearing about Rogers’ death, Alda took to Twitter on Jan. 1, 2016. He wrote about Rogers, “He was smart, funny, curious and dedicated. We made a pact to give MASH all we had and it bonded us. I loved Wayne. I’ll miss him very much.”

Rogers would also find himself on another sitcom for CBS called “House Calls.”

Yet the actor also was quite a sound businessman. In fact, Rogers would spend time talking about business on the Fox News show “Cashin’ In.” He also became a real estate developer and investor.

“M*A*S*H” remained a hit show on CBS after Rogers left. It also remains quite a hit in the land of reruns. When it exited CBS, the show managed to have one of TV’s biggest final episodes ratings-wise. “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” aired on Feb. 28, 1983, and was one for the books.

Show’s Cast Members Once Took Matters Into Own Hands, Went To CBS HQ

If you learned that a show’s cast would go and take their grievances to a network’s headquarters, then you might ask, “What gives?”

For those on “M*A*S*H,” they were not pleased with the network constantly changing their time on the schedule.

An article from MeTV noted producers asked the cast to go in one group to CBS HQ. Those showrunners set it up for producers and cast members to butt heads with the CBS president and VP of programming at the time.

Cast members showed up. They wanted a firm time slot and to be treated better.

That made a big difference in meeting with the CBS honchos. It convinced CBS to give the show a regular time slot on Mondays.

Because of their tenacity, “M*A*S*H” found itself as a Monday night must-see TV show throughout the rest of its run.

Outsider.com